Innisfail holds budget line

Innisfail taxpayers can expect around a two per cent increase in their municipal taxes next year. The increase amounts to a $43 increase to the bill of a typical homeowner whose home was assessed at $300,000

Innisfail taxpayers can expect around a two per cent increase in their municipal taxes next year.

The increase amounts to a $43 increase to the bill of a typical homeowner whose home was assessed at $300,000

The total tax bill, including school taxes and requisitions, would go to $2,905 from $2,862, based on school taxes remaining the same.

Municipalities won’t know the province’s school requisition until the spring.

Council passed the $17.9-million operating and $6.3-million capital budgets last week.

Town chief administrative officer Helen Dietz said the budget maintains all existing service levels.

“There weren’t too many surprises in this budget,” she said.

Even the biggest capital budget item is a continuation of a downtown redevelopment program that began last year.

The first phase of the project to replace water and sewer mains and revamp the streetscape with wider sidewalks, improved crosswalks, street furniture and landscaping was completed in September at a cost of $3.6 million.

The second phase will cost about $2.8 million and involve redeveloping two blocks on 50th Street between 47th and 49th Avenues.

The town is also continuing a successful program to provide matching grants up to $5,000 for local shop owners interested in improving the facades of their businesses.

Another $950,000 is earmarked to improve drainage along the west side of Hwy 2A where existing ditches and sewer mains can be overwhelmed during heavy downpours.